Keith Windschuttle discusses the basic political calculations of the Noam Chomsky left. If the topic at hand is Bush's efforts to help the economy, then the mere hint of an increase in inequality is enough to set alarms blazing. If, however, it is Third World Communists in the driver's seat, than a massacre of thousands is potentially acceptable, depending on how much economic growth can be attained. How did the Vietnamese fare?
I don’t accept the view that we can just condemn the NLF terror, period, because it was so horrible. I think we really have to ask questions of comparative costs, ugly as that may sound. And if we are going to take a moral position on this—and I think we should—we have to ask both what the consequences were of using terror and not using terror. If it were true that the consequences of not using terror would be that the peasantry in Vietnam would continue to live in the state of the peasantry of the Philippines, then I think the use of terror would be justified.
n 2001, the average GDP per head in the Philippines was $4000. At the same time, twenty-five years of revolution in Vietnam had produced a figure of only half as much, a mere $2100. Even those Vietnamese who played major roles in the transformation are now dismayed at the outcome. The former Vietcong General Pham Xuan An said in 1999: “All that talk about ‘liberation’ twenty, thirty years ago, all the plotting, all the bodies, produced this, this impoverished broken-down country led by a gang of cruel and paternalistic half-educated theorists.”
These “half-educated theorists” were the very mandarins Chomsky and his supporters so badly wanted to succeed and worked so hard to install.